Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Weird Project of Mine #291 - Kriminalromans!

Back in high school, and then in college, I took German for my foreign language requirement. I have no idea why I did this except that everybody else I knew was taking French or Spanish, so in a pinch I could just ask one of them to translate whatever it was what needed translatin'. German's a lovely language...at least in the south of Germany and in Bavaria it is...and the fact that my Deutsch is atrophied like Rod Stewart's talent is a source of nagging regret.

Thus I have undertaken what may be the most pointless task I've ever set for myself: translating a German pulp/crime novel. Why? Because it's there. Also, I figured of the German language novels I found at Acres of Books that it was likely to have the most simple grammar and vocabulary, while also probably being full of nifty slang and idioms.

Also, we don't have cable.

Anyways, I'll be translating Edgar Wallace's Das Verrätertor. I'm currently in the process of figuring out what's a reasonable goal to translate per week. So far I've got the title ("The Traitor's Gate," which was printed in English on the title page) and the back text, which took me an hour, which is really, really sad.

I give you, for your amusement, my translation of the back jacket copy:

"The royalty of Kishlastan is accustomed to possessing all that they desire. Now they want the British crown jewels.

But the costly jewels lie - under heavy guard - in London Tower!

However: One day, the treasury is empty. . ."

Intrigue! Spies! Verbs at the ends of sentences for 200 pages!

Joy.

5 comments:

mary_m said...

When I saw Gwen's collection of Harry Potter books en Espanol, it inspired me to brush up on my reading Spanish. I was about to start one of them when she gently told me that maybe I ought to start with something easier so I didn't get discouraged and quit.

And she was right.

I found A Bargain for Francis and Frog and Toad Are Friends to be quite enough of a challenge.

Kjersti said...

I am still at the point of reading novels in Norwegian. Sadly, I have but four Norwegian novels in my possession, and three of them are not very exciting.

Gwen said...

I got into the Harry Potter books because of my need of something relatively easy to read while I was in Venezuela. I had never read a single one of them and was actually sort of contemptuous of all these adults getting excited about children's books--it seemed insane. I was in Venezuela for 6 weeks, though, and wanted to do some reading in Spanish. First I read "Pride and Prejudice," which I was easily able to get through because I know it so well in English that I would figure out everything that was happening whether I really understood it or not.

Then I read a novel I was unfamiliar with. I got through it, but it caused my head to hurt a lot. I finally decided I ought to read young adult novels or something. And the next day I saw a street vendor with a used copy of the first Harry Potter book and thought, what the hell. Fine. I'll read the stupid thing.

And then, of course, I was hooked and immediately went and bout the next 4. There were moments when I began to seriously question my Spanish comprehension. I'd think to myself, "It APPEARS that they're saying he's throwing up slugs, but that seems...odd." It was a huge relief when I got back to watch the movies in English and discover that Ron really WAS throwing up slugs.

On the other hand, I'm still a little disconcerted when I hear or read Voldemort referred to as The Dark Lord in English. El Senor Tenebroso seems much more frightening.

Brady said...

And, er, of course I knew this was a German edition of an English book. I just...er...forgot to mention it. Yeah, that's the ticket: forgot to mention it...

...yup.

Gorgo said...

I can translate ... uh ... never mind.